A top North East chef has joined the team at a Northumberland beauty spot, and he intends to put local produce firmly on the menu.
Richard Sim has come on board The Boat Inn Restaurant and Bar at Leaplish Waterside Park.
As the new executive chef, he will be transforming the Kielder Water & Forest Park-based venue into a gastro pub.
And he is determined to keep the produce as local as possible.
“I love the North East and the passion that people from here have about their region and about fine, locally-sourced produce, “ he said.
“Kielder is a spectacular destination, the landscape is so inspiring.
“I’m joining a great team who are very focused on giving a great visitor experience.
“As well as delicious meals, locals and tourists alike will be able to enjoy home-made bar snacks such as pork scratching and Scotch eggs, desserts made freshly onsite, Wylam beers and fine Sunday dinners set against the stunning backdrop of Kielder Water, northern Europe’s biggest man-made lake.”
Richard’s new lunchtime menu includes fish platters and twice-baked local cheese soufflé with nettle pesto.
Evening meals will include good traditional dishes such as fish and chips and will be bursting with locally-inspired fare such as sautéed forest and field mushrooms with garlic butter on brioche, terrine of venison with pickled carrots and warm toast and roast trout with almonds and fennel and smoked bacon salad.
The celebrated regional chef has 25 years of experience.
He trained in two Michelin-starred restaurants, The Berkeley and Le Meridien Piccadilly, and is also director of Fresh Element (Six at The Baltic).
He has demonstrated and appeared at the popular Alnwick Food Festival – a showcase of food and drink in the North East.
David Hall, head of leisure, strategy and transformation at Northumbrian Water which owns the two visitor centres overlooking Kielder Water, is delighted Richard has joined the team. He said: “We’re delighted to welcome Richard on board.
“As recent gold award winners at the North East Tourism Awards and being short-listed as finalists in the Visit England Awards for Excellence, we are committed to providing the best possible tourism experience and eating out plays a big part of that experience.”
Richard will be working in the Park for The Boat Inn and also Café on the Water at Tower Knowe Visitor Centre on a consulting basis two to three days a week over the course of the next year.